Getting moving the next morning is quite hard, especially after Maria introduces us to Crumpets with butter and drenched in Honey – heavenly! But, full of discipline as we are, we’re on our way not too long after breakfast and make our way towards Newcastle.
Those first days of touring are mostly spent cycling or finding a nice place to eat or rest for a bit. We don’t really stop much to wander around in the cities or even take pictures as our focus seems to be on cycle touring and what that entails: cycling, eating, route finding and planning and sleeping a lot. Unfortunately I also fight with a cold since the beginning which makes everything just a little bit more exhausting that it would usually be.
So on day 4 the novelty of cycle touring seems to wear of a bit and I really start feeling the hills and my exhaustion. My muscles hurt, my nose is running and it’s tough going at times. We have to hurry a bit as we want to make the last ferry over to Hawks Nest. It is a beautiful ride in the golden evening light.
At Hawks Nest we spend some time looking for a place to camp and end up cycling about 10 k further out of town to a Campsite. Not after someone tells us that we can’t possibly make that now as it’s just too far and it would take her about 20 minutes by car. The estimations about distances that we get are quite funny sometimes!
Once we arrive I ask some people in a camper van where we can pitch our tent and the guy later ends up bringing us some leftover fried rice and a bible the next morning. As I’m exhausted and tired I’m very very grateful for not having to cook dinner and go to sleep happily. When I get up the next morning I hear a swoosh-noise coming from the river next to our tent and what do you know – it’s a dolphin swimming up the river! Wow!
The next day is spent cycling peacefully through Myall Lake National Park and we only meet the occasional camper van or 4-Wheel-Drive. We enjoy a beautiful break on the beach and get introduced to a funny bird called Willy Wagtail.
A little later we take the advice of a ferryman and cycle along a walking / cycling track that has only recently been rebuilt. It is beautiful bushland with red hard sand under our tyres. But as the day progresses I feel my cold returning and long for flat sealed roads. Which ours are not.
In the end I’m very much exhausted and just don’t feel like cycling any more. We barely make it to the National Park Campground and I feel a little better as it lies on a lakeshore which means water to wash and drink. And beautiful birds around!
So we wash ourselves in the lake and still end up feeling a little sticky but don’t think much of it. I hit the sack only a little later and am still tired in the morning. So Torsten prepares some black tea for an energy boost and as we are running low on water he uses lake water. It looks clear enough and we are going to boil it anyway. Said and done but hm… the tea tastes a little… no very strange! Almost… salty! Oh well, so Myall Lake is a saltwater lake after all :). How are we to know that? Of course that also explains the dolphin in Myall River on the day before…
After that surprise we get cycling but I only manage about 30 k. My cold finally gets to me and I feel hot and cold and even just cycling on a flat road is seriously exhausting. So we decide to have a rest day in The Ruins Campsite in Booti Booti National Park. Resting and not going forward is really hard for me at the moment as we’ve only just started and I hate being forced to stop. Additionally, being sick on the road is not all that enjoyable either. I want my own room and being able to boil a kettle for tea without assembling our camp stove every time. I want to lie in bed and watch a lot of bad TV shows. Instead I drink water and read as my laptop battery decides not to work today and feel a little sorry for myself. Oh well. Of course there is still a beautiful beach next to our campsite and the campsite even has a shower. And of course a little rest is just what I need right now. So hopefully tomorrow is better.